Earls is back for Munster's clash with Racing but Zebo is held in reserve

Earls is back for Munster's clash with Racing but Zebo is held in reserve
Keith Earls and Jack O'Donoghue sit out Munster Rugby training this week. Picture Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

MUNSTER received a huge boost ahead of tomorrow’s European Champions Cup semi-final in Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux with Keith Earls named on the right wing in the side to face Racing 92, 3.15pm Irish time.

Head Coach Johann van Graan has named the Ireland winger in his back three along with Andrew Conway and Alex Wooton with Cork’s Simon Zebo on the bench as cover for the back three.

Tomorrow’s game will be a record 13th semi-final for the province and their first trip to the Stade Chaban-Delmas since the famous 31-25 win over Toulouse at the semi-final stage 18 years ago.

Earls will make his 150th Munster appearance for the Reds and will be looking to show the form he showed for Ireland in the Six Nations up until the time of his knee injury.

Sammy Arnold and Dolphin’s Rory Scannell resume their centre partnership with Ian Keatley and Conor Murray in the half-backs.

Dave Kilcoyne gets the nod ahead of James Cronin at loosehead and will form the front row with Cork pair Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer.

Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland will man the engine room in the second row while Jack O’Donoghue has recovered from his ankle knock in last weekend’s win over Cheetahs to take his place in the back-row alongside captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander.

Rhys Marshall, James Cronin and John Ryan provide the front row cover with Gerbrandt Grobler and Robin Copeland completing the forward replacements.

James Hart, JJ Hanrahan and Zebo are the backline substitutes.

MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, John Ryan, Gerbrandt Grobler, Robin Copeland, James Hart, JJ Hanrahan, Simon Zebo.

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